At the weekend, I posted a picture that I’m incredibly proud of, so I’m going to take this opportunity to share it again.
This is Smallest. She’s 5 in November. She hasn’t started school – we home educate. And she’s reading her first book.
We don’t do school at home. No formal sit down lessons. We have lots of resources round and about, but I’m a child led home educator, I pick up on the children’s interests and I do a fair bit of accidental strewing. So we’ve got Bob books, and Songbird phonics (thank you the book people!), more picture books than you can shake a stick at, and of course, computers, tablets and various reading technologies. More on those tomorrow.
Today though, I’m talking about Reading Eggs and how it’s fitted in to our learn to read journey mark 3.
Smallest plays on Reading Eggs most days. To begin with she needed some help finding her way around, or understanding what to do on the various activities. That just meant that I sat with her and did the clicking, until she could do it for herself. And when she eventually completed the first section and did the test on it, it recommended she start over. This was the turning point theough, as she discovered all the games she could play with the golden eggs she was accumulating, and at that point, there was no holding her back 😉
She’s romping through it now, and she rarely needs any help. She loves seeing what pets she gets as she moves through the lesson maps – there are plenty of incentives for children to keep playing. She often has a small assistant – Tigerboy loves to sit alongside and watch. And the other morning, as she was saying words, he was repeating them, so I’m giving Reading Eggs credit for enhancing his speech as well I’m fairly sure that is why he recognises so many letters.
Sometimes Smallest gets a little confused between the names of letters and the sounds they make, and plumps for the names first. It surprised me a little to begin with that Reading Eggs does names and sounds together, but then I remembered that there are upper case letters in Montessori classrooms too, and while the focus is on sounds, both bits are taught pretty much at the same time. She’s certainly got the hang of sounds and names anyway, enough to be sounding out phonics books, without any reading lessons from me.
I remember teaching Big to read. It wasn’t pretty. It took a very long time, and I vowed I was never going there again. I was really pleased when Small used the Montessori materials at school to figure it all out for himself. I was kind of thinking that I would start something semi-formal, and probably Montessori based, with Smallest in September, knowing that most people would expect her to be in school then, but now I’m thinking I’m just going to keep on going the way we’re going, with plenty of reading aloud to her, letting her read the books she’s interested in, and allowing lots of time on Reading Eggs and other favourite game sites. (Cbeebies. She likes Cbeebies mostly.)
If you’d like to look into it, clicking the banner above should take you over to the site where you can sign up for a free trial. It’s a bit of a pain to navigate your way in from the front page to where you actually play the game – there doesn’t seem to just be a play now button as such, but once the child is at their bit, they don’t seem to have a problem with it.
You don’t have to be a home educator to use Reading Eggs by the way. If your child is at or is going to go to school, it will support what they’re doing, and stand them in excellent stead in the classroom. You’re not quite sure how the whole phonics thing works and worried you’ll get it wrong? Reading Eggs has it covered for you, supporting the development of sounds with games, so you can focus on reading fun books, which I maintain is at least half of the battle. If you’re wanting something to keep your children in touch with their education during the summer, without making it into a battle, you could do a lot worse than check it out.
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